In just three months the coronavirus has utterly changed our world. Even now the speed and scope of recent events seem incredible, and the consequences are sure to be felt for years. Here’s a swift recap of the main events so far (from the April edition of the Gazette Life Magazine).
The coronavirus crisis started on New Year’s Eve 2019, when China informed the World Health Organisation about a strange pneumonia in the Chinese port city of Wuhan. The illness seemed to affect workers in the city’s seafood market.
- January 7th, WHO officials announced the discovery of a new coronavirus, and on January 9th the first victim of the virus died in China. He was a 61-year old man who had bought food at the seafood market.
- January 23rd, by the time China had registered 550 cases and 17 deaths, Wuhan was placed under strict quarantine, shortly followed by equally tough measures throughout China. By then, cases had been reported in Thailand, Japan, the USA, France and several other countries.
- January 31st, Spain confirmed that it had detected its first case of coronavirus in the remote Canary Island of La Gomera. The patient was a German tourist who had been in contact with an infected person. He and two colleagues who also tested positive were isolated and later released after recovering.
- February 14th, France reported Europe’s first death of the virus. A week later, on the 21st , Italy’s Lombardy region reported the first transmission of the virus within the country, bringing the total in Italy to six cases.
- February 24th, a doctor from Lombardy and his wife were diagnosed positive on the island of Tenerife. They were among several cases who had apparently brought the virus to Spain from Lombardy in Italy. On the 26th February, the first local transmission was reported in Seville, of a spanish patient who had not left the country.
- March 4th, Spain announced that a Valencian man who had died on the 13th February had been a victim of coronavirus. He was the first victim in the country
- March 11th, the Canarian government prohibited all gatherings of more than 1,000 people, and on the 12th, it announced the closure of all schools and educational centres on the islands.
- March 14th, with 6,332 cases registered and 193 deaths in the country, Spanish President Pedro Sánchez announced a State of Alarm throughout Spanish territory. Those figures would only get worse in the following two weeks.
- March 19th, Italy overtook China as the country with the most coronavirusrelated deaths, registering 3,405 dead compared to 3,245 in China. Meanwhile, the death toll in Spain soared by 209 to 767 fatalities from the previous day.
- 29th March, the Canaries had registered 1,204 cases of coronavirus and 40 deaths. Lanzarote accounted for 34 of those cases and three of the deaths. Spain is the second-worst affected country in the world after Italy, with a horrifying total of 78,800 cases and 6,618 deaths, almost half of them in Madrid. In less than three months, those first cases in Wuhan have become a global pandemic causing 600,000 cases and more than 30,000 deaths.